portion of Ronnie K. Stephens' artwork

Ronnie K. Stephens’ Comments

“Barking at Seals” is, in large part, a true story. A fellow student and I were exploring Inishbofin after dark when we began sinking into a bog. Kate was swallowed up to her neck and couldn’t move, but I managed to pull her out. Afterward, she spoke to me of dreams she’d had in which she was reborn as her grandmother, whom she never met. It seems that, for her, this experience with the bog was the first time she’d genuinely connected with the spirit of her grandmother.

Regarding my “inspirations,” a number of my poems feature battered women and abused children. I gravitate toward these themes, but they are not autobiographical. Rather, I feel compelled to tell the stories that are told to me, often by people who do not wish to tell them themselves. I also focus heavily on the human aspect, as I think that victims are reduced to statistics far too often in our society.

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